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Indian Railways

Indian Railways

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Published by Aji Lal Dev

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Published by: Aji Lal Dev on Sep 20, 2010
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01/29/2014

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Introduction
Indian Railways is dependent largely on the market environment, mainly internal and externalfactors. The effect of these factors are listed below:
External Macro environment
DEMOGRAPHICS
Demographics refers to the characteristics of the population, including factors such as size, distributionand growth. Indian railways, in order to relieve the women passengers during rush hours has startedvarious ladies special trains such as those between delhi and palwal, Bandel and Howrah, Kalyani-Sealdah, Panvel-Mumbai CST, etc . Matribhumi special trains have also been started for the women.Various initiatives in this area include reduction of age limits for special concession to senior womencitizen from 65 to 60 years, concessional rates for the blind and mentally challenged persons for travel inAC classes and Free second class Monthly Season Tickets (MSTs) for school going children upto tenthstandard for travel between home and school. Catering to the lower strata of the society, railways offerlow cost classes like Unreserved and Sleeper classes. It also offers special trains known as GaribRathwhich gives cheap Air conditioned accommodation. Karmabhoomi trains to be introduced for migrantlabourTo handle the increasing number of commuters many new trains have been introduced on variousroutes. Frequency of trains on local/short-distance routes has been increased to help the dailycommuters. Eg. 101 new suburban trains for Mumbai have been started this year.
ECONOMIC CONDITION
Inflation  Indian Railways had to cut freight rates for food grains to help tackle inflation. The reluctanceto raise freight rates is making railways turn to companies to build new tracks, stations, wagons, logisticparks and high-speed train corridors.Recession  At the time of recession, the freight traffic of Indian Railways continued to grow, albeit atslow pace, indicating only marginal impact of the global recession on the Indian economy. The railwayshave enhanced freight revenue by increasing its axle loading, improving customer services and adoptingan innovative pricing strategy. Also, passengers in order to spend less preferred to travel by railwaysrather than by the airways.
COMPETITION
Road transport competes with the Indian Railways (IR) for transportation of all major commodities, withroads having an edge in transportation of non-bulk commodities owing to point to point delivery withrailways commanding a higher share in transportation of bulk commodities. Over the years, roads havegained an increasing preference vis-à-vis the railways and the share of road transport currently stands atabout 65%.
 
The Railways still face a stiff competition from the quality of the services offered at the airports,specially affecting the segment of customers belonging to the elite class. But still whenever there is asharp rise in the air ticket rates the frequent travellers prefer railways to cut the cost of travelling andthis results in an increase of traffic for the railways.
Social and Cultural factors
:Since the quality, not the quantity is the need of the hour, Indian railway focuses on the quality of theservices provided. For instance, it has undertaken a pilot project of Doctors on Duronto Trainsconsidering the long term demand of doctors in long distance trains. Indian railways pay enoughweightage to the importance of time of passengers. It runs many services like superfast express trains,Jan shadabdi Expresses, Rajdhani services etc, which run at an average of 70 km/hr , thereby making thetravel time shorter compared to many road transportation. It runs pilgrim and tourist services likeBharat darsan, Buddhist train, Fairy Queen, Hill Charters, Deccan Odyssey to cater the needs of thepeople.
Political and legal factors:
Indian Railway is constantly shaped by the alternate change of Union governments. Indian constitutionhas provided special provision for Railways in its legislative wing as Ministry of Railways. All thedemands of the consumers are addressed in its biannual Budget policy, introduced by Union Railwayminister.Indian railways and all its activities are monitored by the Ministry of Railways and it abides byall the laws and regulations.
Technological factors:
Indian Railways is one step ahead with respect to technological innovations. It has developed an onlineplatform for ticket reservation and booking (IRCTC website). It also installed e-ticketing Kiosks inselected railway stations in India. It adopted latest signaling technology for ensuring passenger safety.
EXTERNAL MICROENVIRONMENT
The Indian Railways manufactures a lot of its rolling stock and heavy engineering components.Production Units, the manufacturing plants of the Indian Railways, are managed directly by the ministry.The General Managers of the PUs like Central Organization For Railway Electrification, ChittaranjanLocomotive Works, Diesel Locomotive Works, Rail Wheel Factory, Bharat Earth Movers Limited, etc.report to the Railway Board.CRIS (Center for Railway Information Systems), for Indian Railways, has developed fully secure andcompletely user friendly Application System which will permit vendors to Search, View, Downloadtenders directly from CRISs secure website and also participate and submit Online offers in the E-tenders directly from the website .IRCTC is in charge of catering services on trains and railway stations across India. Depending on thedistance covered by the train and average passenger
load factor 
, the railways either equips trains withtheir own pantry cars or provides meals at select stations en route.
 
 SWOT ANALYSISStrengths Weaknesses Opportunities Threats1. Subsidiary of Ministry of Railways2. Full back up bythe Govt.3.Excel lentFaith & Goodwill4. Monopoly inRail tour packages5. Cheapest, yetbest in SpiritualTour PackageSegment6. Unique productslike Mahaparinirvanexpress, Bharatdarshan, MaharajaExpress Trains7. LTC approvedPackages1. Lack of motivation inemployees2.PoorPromotionalactivities & publicrelation3. Non existence of full fledgeMarketing team4. Poor customersupport services5. P oorinfrastructuralfacilities1. Buoyancy in theTourism Sector.2. Increase inIndividual disposableincome4. Booming Hotels &Resorts Industry5. Bids for Contract(National &International)6. Strategic Tie-upsfor better &improvedperformance.7. Outbound TourismSegment8. Tie-ups with leadinginstitutions &organizations foreducational tours &other tours atNational &Internationalplatform.9. Booming MedicalTourism1.Econ o mi cDownturn2. Terrorists Attacks&Naxalites Attacks3. Withdrawal of parental support fromthe Ministry of Railways, Govt. of India4. Air Packages &Road TransportPackages5. Low fare Airlines6. Private Small Touroperators7. Increasing Inflationrate
Internal environment
The Indian Railways has a capital base of about Rs. 100000 crores and is often referred to as the lifelineof the Indian economy because of its predominance in transportation of bulk freight and long distancepassenger traffic.Freight BusinessThe Railways are increasing their market share in both bulk and non-bulk freight traffic by improving thequality of service with reduction in transit time and better reliability and availability. Both these efforts

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